Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church

To all of you from Shiloh:
I see so many blogs from members there who are hurting.
I want you to know that I feel you have been victimized to. You are supposed to love and respect your Pastor and learn from Him. Of course you feel sad and angry and defensive and many mixed feelings. There were people who knew about Gilyards past and allowed him to come there and shepherd you anyway, but, not everyone knew of his past. Now, you need to pray for healing for your hearts and souls (as many of us are for you) as you will have to heal as well. There are MANY VICTIMS here, not just those he harassed, but those of you who loved him as your Pastor. He is a phenomenal speaker of the Word and God's word does not return back void. So even in the midst of sin, God's word was still speaking to His sheep. I pray that you will not allow your hearts to become bitter and that you will not let this turn you away from the church. Let God heal you (He is who we look to, not to man) and let Him turn these ashes into Beauty!!!!Bless you!


Anonymous said...

Tiffany - very well said. I agree with everything you said.

However, there is a very important lesson to be learned by Shiloh members and members of churches where there are "celebrity" pastors. Celebrity pastors are men like Gilyard who are granted huge amounts of power over how the church is run, where the congregation and lay leaders place the pastor on a pedestal because of their superior preaching skills or their status as a "religious celebrity". They have formal or informal power to hire/fire staff as they see fit, they have control over expenditures, are given huge salaries many times more than the average church member, they are given and they accept huge gifts from the richest members, and maybe the worst sign: the pastor's "accountability" rests with a very few select men in the church who are staff members hired by the pastor and lay leaders selected by the pastor. Most decisions and finacial expenditures are NOT shared with the congregation.

My eyes over the past few years as a long-time member of FBC Jax have been opened over the dangers of attending a church that tends to "worship" these celebrity pastors. With very little accountability, and access to huge amounts of money, and congregations who don't demand accountability to THEM...well, its just a recipe for abuse by a monster pastor...and the sick thing is: OFTEN YOU CAN'T TELL THE ABUSIVE PASTORS FROM THE GODLY ONES UNTIL ITS TOO LATE. We've seen it with Bob Gray - no one dared question his integrity yet talk to people from the Bob Gray years and they will tell you what a godly man he was, that they would have NEVER, EVER thought that he would do those things. But granting a man the power and prestige like that in the church can empower the abuser to think they CAN get away with their sin.

Now we see it with Gilyard...let's face it, he was a "celebrity"...the reason Vines liked Darryl Gilyard was not because he was a great guy, but the guy can preach like very few preachers...Gilyard has a gift very similar to Vines' in being able to preach to touch the heart. But Gilyard is a monster and Vines isn't. But now I'm even more conflicted because Vines KNEW of Gilyard's past and still overlooked it and went and preached at his church knowing that Gilyard tried to prey on one of Vines' own church members. So who really can be trusted? NO ONE.

And I'm not limiting this to sexual or perverse also includes financial abuses of congregations also.

So I am for all intents and purposes done with the mega churches and their celebrity pastors. Not because its sick to see them get rich using God's money, but knowing that all of that power and money and prestige coupled with very little accountability to their congregation makes the chances of them turning out to be a sexual or financial abuser all the greater.

Anonymous said...

Two bits of late breaking news:

- Christa Brown's group SNAP has called for Paige Patterson to step down as president of SWBTS while he is investigated for turning a blind eye toward Gilyard.

SNAP calls for Suspension

- Paige Patterson responds:

Paige Patterson Responds

PP makes a couple of good points, explaining he was at the time president of a small baptist college and didn't have the resources to fully investigate all the claims, but did get Gilyard to confess publicly and step down from his church and expelled him from school.

Now read this that Patterson said:

“Since that day, I have had nothing to do with Darrell Gilyard and have only seen him on one occasion when he visited the Southwestern Seminary campus during the time the seminary was hosting a preaching conference. I do not and have not endorsed his ministry or work and have made crystal clear to Mr. Gilyard that on the basis of his behavior, as well as his divorce, he has no business serving as pastor of a local church.”

OK, now the question: What say you Jerry Vines? Your buddy PP says he has had NOTHING to do with Gilyard since the Texas days based on his behavior and divorce disqualifying him from serving as pastor of a local church. How then Jerry Vines, knowing it was one of your OWN YOUNG CHURCH MEMBERS that Gilyard attempted to prey on, knowing that he is divorced, knowing all that you on earth did you arrive at the decision to preach at his church and in effect "endorse" his ministry? According to PP he would NEVER have done that, but you did. Why? Are you sorry? Do you owe an explanation to Gilyard's past and present victims for doing something so foolish?

New BBC Open Forum said...

In "Page Patterson Responds," he states...

"Since that day, I have had nothing to do with Darrell Gilyard and have only seen him on one occasion when he visited the Southwestern Seminary campus during the time the seminary was hosting a preaching conference. I do not and have not endorsed his ministry or work and have made crystal clear to Mr. Gilyard that on the basis of his behavior, as well as his divorce, he has no business serving as pastor of a local church."

Yet here he's quoted as saying...

"Dr. Patterson said he has withdrawn all support from Mr. Gilyard - and has asked that the pastor and his wife attend a two-week rehabilitation session. 'Mr. Gilyard is no longer qualified to pastor a church,' said Dr. Patterson. He also asked Mr. Gilyard not preach or pastor a church for two years -- and then only if he can prove he has been rehabilitated. 'In retrospect, Darrell should have been in counseling all along,' Dr. Patterson said."

If Gilyard isn't qualified to preach or pastor a church, then why would Patterson ask him not to preach or pastor a church for "two years"? Doesn't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

Christa hon, don't you have cooking or laundry or something wifely you ought to be doing instead of this?

Anonymous said...

When Jerry Vines explains why he saw fit to preach at Shiloh he can also explain why he went to Trinity Baptist Church and preached after Jeannie Blalock reported how Trinity's leaders had covered up Bob Gray's abuse of children for decades.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Christa works tirelessly to try to stop clergy in the church who have abused before, from being able to simply move to another church and find victims there. You do not understand how far and wide this problem is. There was a 20/20 special on this recently, asking why the silence in the church? If someone is not speaking out (there are few) then we appear to be allowing it. That is not a testimony to the world - if we say no, we can have compassion and pray for the healing of that abuser and their victim, but we cannot allow it to go on. Why is it so hard for people to see the difference of silence and judgement? When we speak out against a predator in the church, it is no different than not wanting a child molester to live next door to you. You are protecting the innocent. By being silent or saying "touch not thine annointed" you are in effect protecting the perpetrator.
As I have said many times, I do not hate Darrell Gilyard, but I also will not stand by and watch him move on to another (his 5th) church and leave behind more victims. That is Christa's goal as well. She should be applauded, she recieves nasty emails all day long from the church people - is that Godly?
Thank you for your comment anonymous.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Take a look at this site:

Anonymous said...

With regard to my previous comments (anon 11:36)
I forget that not everyone knows all about the great one-that is the president of Southwestern Theological Seminary, P.P. Google him. You will find he is full of baloney. Read up on the firing of
Sheri Klouda. Guess who the only female faculty member is? Her last name begins with a P. My remark was alluding to the homemaking skills classes (cooking, sewing, etc) What an insult to intelligent women. I totally support you in what you are doing,it takes a lot of courage. THANKS to you and Christa for your efforts.

Anonymous said...

I realize that many of you are angry and you have every right. I know that you have been disappointed in the church leaders you have known. But please fight the temptation to lump all pastors into that catagory. There are others, most of us, I hope, who would NEVER entertain the thought of abusing a blessed church member or doing anything that would disappoint the heart of our Lord. Pastoring a church is a difficult, but very rewarding endeavor. I am so sorry for all the hurt and pain done to you. It is especially heinous that it was done by a pastor. But please remember that there is a remnant that remains true, pure, and honestly loves God and the people of the church. May God's hand of healing, mercy, blessedness and favor be upon you.

Anonymous said...

I too have been in shock and have attended Shiloh only once since the Resignation. At this point I am torn I feel disappointed and deeply hurt. I also feel somewhat naive I am a journalist and saw the symptoms. Difficulty looking people in the eye, placing blame for mistakes on others , in fact at one point I offered to do a piece on the church and was told by Gilyard that Shiloh kept a low profile but noticed every time he had an opportunity to promote himself he did.

On the other hand it is time to move on and I have carefully watched the various Ministers who have honored us with their presentations through our excellent media ministry, and will be there to Vote. My church is too important to this community to allow it to become detached and isolated. I think there are still some who share the responsibility for what occurred who are in positions of authority and until the membership has the courage to insist on an investigation there will continue to be questions. The engine of any church is it leadership Trustees, Deacons, it's members and most importantly God. Replacing the Pastor will help but that is like placing a new paint job on the car. We need to get to the bottom of this and clear the air once and for all. We have taken the first step and the honorable thing would be for those who allowed this to happen on their watch to step down so that people of courage and concern for all of the Church can take those positions. Many are excited about the election and that's a good thing but we need to be just as excited about removing the remaining parties as well. Let us pray together that God will give our new Pastor the strength to listen to those who are many that don't feel this is finished and make our surroundings pure again so that the Spirit can truly dwell there again.

Anonymous said...

What happen to forgive. When we was in his place he was there for us he pray and he was there. so before we put someone els down lets look at our life. let God do his job. when we try to put someone one els down it will come back on us hard. god got this. you doing the same thing hurting someone. do you not think he is hurting for what he did now that it in his face.plase let god do his job.

CS said...

C. S.
PS:Evil pursueth sinners, but to the righteous good shall be repayed. Proverbs 13:21